DAY ONE - EN ROUTE
Our Branson Holiday Express tour members will gather at the Maricopa train station before they board Amtrak’s famous Sunset Limited for a 6:40 a.m. departure.
Tucson members will board at 9:15 a.m.
The Sunset Limited features double-decker superliner equipment. Relax in your comfortable, reclining coach seat with leg rest. Roomettes or Bedrooms are available for an additional cost.
Today you’ll enjoy lunch and a delicious, full-course dining car dinner.
Throughout the morning and afternoon, we’ll encounter the stark, desolate – almost hostile – land of southern Texas. We’ll be traveling in comfort through the Judge Roy Bean Country made famous in the TV series, Lonesome Dove.
Meal(s): B*, L & D
*Passengers boarding in Maricopa only.
DAY TWO - EN ROUTE
This morning our sleeping car was transferred from the Sunset Limited to the Texas Eagle in San Antonio.
Today you’ll enjoy breakfast, lunch and a delicious, full-course dining car dinner.
You may want to go to the Sightseer Lounge car for some refreshments and good conversation with your fellow tour members.
Throughout the day we’ll experience a variety of landscapes ranging from hill country to plains to the pine forests of eastern Texas. You’ll be able to stretch your legs in Fort Worth. There will be time for card games in the lower Sightseer Lounge area.
Arrival into Texarkana is scheduled for 8:43 p.m. Upon arrival we will transfer to a local hotel for the evening.
Meal(s): B, L & D
DAY THREE - EN ROUTE / BRANSON
Following a Continental breakfast we’ll board our motorcoach and head north about 143 miles to Little Rock, Arkansas.
By late morning, we’ll arrive at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. The Museum includes replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. Permanent exhibits utilize documents, photographs, videos and interactive stations. A timeline and alcoves highlight domestic and foreign policy, as well as life in the White House.
An “on-your-own” lunch is available at the Library and Museum.
At mid afternoon we’ll arrive at the attractive, full service Radisson Hotel, our comfortable accommodations for the next four nights in Branson. The Radisson is convenient to many shows and attractions.
Dinner is included this evening in our hotel’s dining room.
Following dinner we’ll continue to the The Mansion for two singing sensations, The Gatlins and Debby Boone celebrate the holiday season on stage with great harmonies and enthusiasm.
Debby Boone is best-known for her Grammy Award-winning song “You Light Up My Life” from 1977.
It’s a special holiday with The Gatlins, too. You’ll hear their biggest hits, including “All The Gold In California,” “Broken Lady,” and “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You).”
Meal(s): CB & D
DAY FOUR - BRANSON
A full plated or buffet breakfast in our hotel is included each morning in Branson.
You’ll have an “on-your-own” lunch at a Branson restaurant.
This afternoon we’ll enjoy an incredible Christmas Celebration! The Lennon Sisters sing harmony from their hearts with musical memories from over 50 years as America’s Sweethearts of Song.
Dinner is at the popular Fall Creek Steakhouse.
This evening our Branson travelers will enjoy a performance by one of America’s most popular groups, the Oak Ridge Boys. The Oak Ridge Boys, one of the longest-running groups in country music, are back on America by Rail’s Branson schedule and bringing a lot of country and a little bit of rock, blues and gospel.
The Boys have ten Gold Albums, two Platinum, and one Double Platinum Album as well as 25 No. 1 hits including: “Elvira”, “American Made”, “Bobbie Sue”, “Thank God for Kids”, and “Y’all Come Back Saloon”.
Meal(s): B & D
DAY FIVE - BRANSON
At 9:00 a.m. we’ll embark on a three-hour sightseeing tour of Branson and the awesomely scenic Ozark countryside.
Be sure to visit Dick’s old-fashioned 5 and 10 cent store in Downtown Branson.
Adjacent to downtown is Branson Landing where you will have time for an “on-your-own” lunch and shopping.
This evening we’ll enjoy dinner at Florentina’s Italian Restaurant.
Tony Orlando brings his incomparable energy and talent to the Welk Resort with his new show, Tony Orlando’s Great American Christmas! Tony will sing all of your holiday favorites: the songs that have become part of the fabric of Christmas in America; and his greatest hits:”Candida”, “Knock Three Times”, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”, “Sweet Gypsy Rose” and many more. Tony is joined onstage by his incredibly talented band and cast to tell the story of Tony’s first Christmas in the Ozarks, and the special visitor he met. It’s a celebration of all that is great about the holiday season, and where Santa honors the true meaning of Christmas.
Meal(s): B & D
DAY SIX - EN ROUTE
This morning you’ll have the option of shopping, relaxing in your hotel, attending a show, or visiting the Landmark Titanic Museum/Attraction.
After an “on-your-own” lunch we’ll continue to the Tri-Lakes Center for one of the most memorable performances of your life. You’ll be enthralled by the charming Daniel O’Donnell. Daniel has become one of Ireland’s greatest exports, performing to over 500,000 people every year from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House to London’s Royal Albert Hall, and, of course, Branson.
This evening we’ll enjoy dinner at the ever popular Grand Country Buffet.
Tonight’s finale is the legendary Johnny Mathis show.
He broke through in 1957 with his debut album, “Wonderful Wonderful”, which spawned the number one hit “Chances Are”. He has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame twice -- once for “Chances Are” and for “Misty”. He’s also known for his top hit “It’s Not For Me To Say”.
Meal(s): B & D
DAY SEVEN- EN ROUTE
Following breakfast, we’ll board our deluxe motor coach and head south about 60 miles to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Eureka Springs is a major resort community. In the late 1800s the many springs in the area were believed to have medicinal qualities. Those who came discovered the beauty of the area and continued to return. We’ll embark on a guided tour of Arkansas’ largest Historic District on an open air tram. There will be time for some exploring on your own and lunch before we continue our journey south and southwest to Texarkana. An included dinner stop will be made. We’ll spend the night in Texarkana.
Meal(s): B & D
DAY EIGHT - EN ROUTE
This morning we will transfer to the Texarkana Amtrak station in time for the 5:58 a.m. departure of the Texas Eagle. Enjoy the same amenities you did on the Sunset Limited. This morning our train rolls through east-ern Texas in a straight line, due west, past small farms and pine forests. This morning our train rolls through eastern Texas in a straight line, due west, past small farms and pine forests.
We’re scheduled to arrive in Dallas at 11:30 a.m. and Fort Worth at 1:25 p.m. You’ll have time for a trainside walk in Fort Worth.
A full-course dining car lunch and dinner are included.
We are scheduled to arrive into San Antonio at 9:55 p.m. where you will be able to enjoy a trainside walk as the train will be in San Antonio until 2:45 a.m.
Meal(s): CB, L & D
DAY NINE - EN ROUTE
This morning we’ll travel through the sparsely-populated Rio Grande Valley of west Texas. Tumbleweeds and arid lands surround our train. Our arrival into El Paso is scheduled or 1:22 p.m. You’ll want to spend time with your new-found friends in the Sightseer Lounge reminiscing about the fun-filled activities you enjoyed during the past week. Arrival into Tucson is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. and Maricopa at 9:52 p.m.
Meal(s): B, L & D
NOTE: Due to the recent passing of Andy Williams, you will be seeing Tony Orlando's Great American Christmas.